Experts addressed the ‘elephant in the state’ during the Carrington Research Extension Center field day: drought. Earlier this spring, NDSU Extension was forecasting a 20-to-25 percent reduction in forage production. Given the extensive drought conditions, those numbers were underestimated. Extension rangeland and forage specialist Kevin Sedivec says conditions were so severe early on that many parts of North Dakota never recovered. “The state will probably produce about one-third to 40 percent of normal forage in 2021. Forage will be difficult to find and the price will be high. So, producers have to determine if they should feeding cattle or if they should be selling cattle.” Sedivec says failed wheat will be a popular item on the hay market. While it may be available, producers should first test the crop for nitrates. “You need to know those levels so you know how to blend it off. There is a point where levels are too high, and sellers also need to be honest about it.” Sedivec has more in this interview.